The co-main event of UFC 145 featured a fight in the welterweight division. Rory MacDonald, who has been anointed the future of the welterweight division by his training partner, Georges St-Pierre, battled Che Mills. MacDonald is just 22 and was 3-1 in the UFC coming into the fight, suffering his lone defeat against Carlos Condit in June 2010. Mills, the native of Gloucester, England, came into the fight with a 14-4 record and is one of most dangerous strikers in the division. He defeated Chris Cope in his UFC debut at UFC 138 and will be the biggest threat of MacDonald's brief career.
The start of the fight saw Mills get on the offense, landing kicks and going for strikes. At one point, he landed a stiff right hand, which forced MacDonald to get the takedown. Once MacDonald was able to posture up on the ground, he landed vicious ground and pound and worked his way into side control. With two minutes left, MacDonald got into the mounted crucifix position when he landed countless unanswered shots. With 40 seconds left, MacDonald got the full mount and continuously landed strikes as he worked towards the finish.
My Scorecard: 10-8 MacDonald
In the second round, Mills was going for punches and kicks and MacDonald easily took him down and dropped countless strikes before easily transitioning to side control. He then effortlessly moved into the mount. Mills immediately rolled onto his stomach and MacDonald eventually hammered down strike after strike before Mario Yamasaki stepped in to stop the fight.
Official Decision: Rory MacDonald via TKO at 2:20 of the second round.
MacDonald is the real deal in the welterweight division and I think he is at the point right now where he could beat his mentor for the UFC welterweight title. There is no point in MacDonald fighting anyone other than a top three fighter from here on in his career. I would want to see him fight the winner of Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks next or even Jon Fitch so he can continue to prove his worth in the division.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.